Leo Gilling, Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board Member for the West/Midwest Region of the US, announced today a new initiative which supports Jamaica’s Vision 2030 Goal as well as the recommendations that came out of the 2013 Diaspora Conference recently held in June. The Advancement in Education 2014 is a new project that has been endorsed by the Minister of Education Hon. Ronald Thwaites, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Hon. Arnaldo Brown, and the President of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, Mr. Mark Nicely.

There will be two Education Summits hosted in Jamaica in February, 2014 as part of the Advancement in Education 2014 initiative. The first Education Summit will be held on Tuesday, February 18th at Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College in Montego Bay, St. James. The second Education Summit will be held onThursday, February 20th at Cedar Grove Academy in Portmore, St. Catherine. Both summits will bededicated to highlighting the critical needs, limitations and strengths of the education system in Jamaica. They will also be used to identify the areas in which members of the Jamaican Diaspora in the US, Canada and Europe can be of most assistance.

The Advancement in Education Summit will include presenters from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ministry of Education, Jamaica Teachers Association, Joint Board of Teacher Education,Early Childhood Commission, other key organizations and members of the Jamaican Diaspora. The format of the Education Summit Meetings will include presentations from the various Ministries and institutions of higher education and stakeholders, followed by a question/answer session where the various organizations will field questions from principals, teachers, parents, students, the media and the general public. The event will be aired so that stakeholders will have immediate knowledge of the discussion topics and the recommendations and outcomes of the meetings. Following the Education Summit Meetings, The Advancement in Education 2014 team will reflect on the discussions, developdetailed recommendations and support the intended outcomes of this effort.

The Education Summit Meetings will also promote and enhance the work of other organizations and individuals of the Diaspora who have done tremendous work in Jamaica. It is hoped that partnerships will be built among the various regions of the Jamaican Diaspora with the Ministry of Education,Jamaica Teachers’ Association, Joint Board of Teacher Education, Early Childhood Commission andorganizations who have already established and maintained their contributory efforts to schools and their communities across Jamaica.

The Education Summit 2014 was developed out of collaboration with the Jamaica Awareness Association of California which conducted a Mini Summit in Montego Bay in June, 2013. The idea has mushroomed into a national plan so that all schools, colleges and universities can benefit from the potential outcomes of collaboration and the vision of bringing improvements to the overall system of education in Jamaica, throughout Jamaica and remain in line with Jamaica’s Vision 2030.

Advancements in Education: Education Summit 2014
Developing a Strategy for Engaging the Jamaican Diaspora and Friends

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